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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12: Stage set for Stanford-UCLA rematch

Nearly every forecast of the Pac-12 football season called for a rematch of a November contest in the conference championship game.

It’s just that everybody thought it would be Oregon vs. USC, not Stanford vs. UCLA.

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That’s exactly what will happen, if Stanford beats the Bruins on the road Saturday. The teams would meet again Nov. 30 at Stanford with a Rose Bowl berth at stake.

That’s the fallout of Saturday’s upsets, UCLA’s 38-28 win over USC and Stanford’s 17-14 overtime defeat of Oregon.

The effect in the AP Top 25 is illustrated in this week’s rankings: Oregon No. 5, Stanford No. 11, UCLA No. 15 and Oregon State No. 16. USC fell out of the rankings.

UCLA has clinched the Pac-12 South title; Stanford needs another victory to claim the North crown, assuming Oregon wins at Oregon State. In that case, the Cardinal would host the championship game, based on a better conference record than UCLA.

If Oregon wins and Stanford loses, the Ducks would host UCLA. But if there’s a three-way tie for the North title (involving OSU), Stanford would advance to the title game – at UCLA, because that would mean the Bruins beat Stanford in the regular season.

Got all that?

The bottom line is that everything is in place for the strangest possible scenario in the Pac-12 title game: a rematch six days later, with Oregon and USC nowhere to be found.

The situation brings UCLA’s motivation for Saturday’s game into some degree of question, although the Bruins know that a sequence of events could enable them to host the title game.

Meanwhile, Arizona State (6-5) became the Pac-12’s eighth bowl-eligible team with a rout of Washington State. Utah (4-7) is not mathematically eliminated, even after its 34-24 loss to Arizona, because of a new provision that allows bowls to select 5-7 teams if absolutely necessary. But besides beating Colorado on Friday, the Utes would need a bunch of five-win teams to lose next weekend.</

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Rich Rodriguez on UTSA
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Byrne, staff worked hard to get 50K for UA opener
» UA football: Breaking down the wide receivers
» Free weekly Wildcat sports magazine

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football practice report from Sunday
» VIDEO: Looking ahead to ASU's road game
» Goal-line stand highlights 1st look at defense
» How ASU's 2015 commits fared Friday night

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal Bears hang on for win at Northwestern
» Cal football notebook: Freshman QB Rubenzer an effective secret weapon
» Cal opens at Northwestern with a much different look on defense
» Fact box: Cal at Northwestern

Colorado (Denver Post)
» CU Buffs freshman WR Shay Fields gets off to impressive start
» Opening game loss a blow to Colorado's goal of a bowl bid
» CSU roars back to beat CU 31-17 in Rocky Mountain Showdown
» CU-CSU Briefs: Rams' defense tightens up after poor start

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» The physical game is a pride issue for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks as No. 8 Michigan State comes to town
» Royce Freeman on being 'tentative,' performing better and first time playing at Autzen Stadium (video)
» Marcus Mariota on Michigan State, Royce Freeman and feeling good after a win (video)

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford overpowers UC Davis in season-opening win
» Stanford opens 2014 season without a No. 1 tailback -- again
» Fact box: Stanford vs. UC-Davis
» Stanford prepares for UC Davis as memory of stunning 2005 loss lingers

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Husky men eye deep run in NCAA soccer
» Huskies announce that Cyler Miles will start at quarterback against Eastern Washington
» First look: Eastern Washington Eagles
» UW coach Chris Petersen on Cyler Miles, Hawaii and looking ahead to Eastern Washington

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» New depth chart for Nevada
» Labor Day is the right name for every day of the football season
» Another game week begins
» We always (over)react to college football's first full Saturday



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